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The turning point in your growth as a film viewer 
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
Vexer wrote:
I mostly agree with JB's review of The Shining, like he said, Jack's character becomes too much of a caricature to be able to really take seriously, and seeing The Shining parodied so many times(especially the "Here's Johnny" scene, which I couldn't help but laugh at in the film) may have also diluted the impact it may have otherwise had, Danny Lloyd also gave a rather poor performance, and the film was WAY too long for me, I don't think trimming 30 minutes would've hurt the film any.


Trimming the film by a half hour would have definitely hurt it, because the main character in The Shining is the Overlook itself. Kubrick takes the time to let the viewer get acquainted with the hotel; that leisurely buildup is important for when he drops the scares. That's the real genius of The Shining, you see. Kubrick knew that the real horror in a horror movie comes not from the "boo" moment, but from the buildup to it.

Now, I will agree that the parodies of the film over the years probably have zapped some of the impact out of it. I'm glad I saw it before it became a subject of mass parody.

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Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:27 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I mostly agree with JB's review of The Shining, like he said, Jack's character becomes too much of a caricature to be able to really take seriously, and seeing The Shining parodied so many times(especially the "Here's Johnny" scene, which I couldn't help but laugh at in the film) may have also diluted the impact it may have otherwise had, Danny Lloyd also gave a rather poor performance, and the film was WAY too long for me, I don't think trimming 30 minutes would've hurt the film any.


Trimming the film by a half hour would have definitely hurt it, because the main character in The Shining is the Overlook itself. Kubrick takes the time to let the viewer get acquainted with the hotel; that leisurely buildup is important for when he drops the scares. That's the real genius of The Shining, you see. Kubrick knew that the real horror in a horror movie comes not from the "boo" moment, but from the buildup to it.

Now, I will agree that the parodies of the film over the years probably have zapped some of the impact out of it. I'm glad I saw it before it became a subject of mass parody.


The Simpsons really do have a lot to answer for :P . I can't watch a movie with someone my age without them going "Haha! That was on The Simpsons!", often ruining any sense of surprise and completely breaking the atmosphere. The Shining is one of the best examples. Nobody I've seen it with finds the "All work and no play..." scene unsettling, because all they picture is the Simpsons' parody. Of course, I'm not criticizing The Simpsons at all, its just strange how it affects audiences who are more familiar with the parody than the actual subject.

I never saw much of The Simpsons as a child, and only watched it as an adult, which probably puts me in the minority of my generation. My parents didn't like the show, and they always had control of the prime time TV viewing.


Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:50 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
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The Shining? That's an interesting turning point, personally I don't see what makes that film so much better then most other horror films, Nicholson's over-the-top performance just didn't do it for me.


It's an okay movie, but it feels unfocused for a Kubrick film. I actually find that reading theories about the film is more fun than watching it all the way through. My favorite horror movies are Carrie, Re-Animator, and The Mist, all of which I can say had a tremendous impact on me. The Ring and The Omen borderline traumatized me with scariness at age 10, but neither seems to hold up that much.

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Danny Lloyd also gave a rather poor performance


Interesting, I think the length of production that this movie went through creates a few subtle inconsistencies with his character. Kubrick shot this mostly in sequential order, and Danny grows quite noticeably older from beginning to end. Danny at the kitchen table in the beginning and Danny in the maze at the end is borderline two different phases of childhood.


Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:12 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I mostly agree with JB's review of The Shining, like he said, Jack's character becomes too much of a caricature to be able to really take seriously, and seeing The Shining parodied so many times(especially the "Here's Johnny" scene, which I couldn't help but laugh at in the film) may have also diluted the impact it may have otherwise had, Danny Lloyd also gave a rather poor performance, and the film was WAY too long for me, I don't think trimming 30 minutes would've hurt the film any.


Trimming the film by a half hour would have definitely hurt it, because the main character in The Shining is the Overlook itself. Kubrick takes the time to let the viewer get acquainted with the hotel; that leisurely buildup is important for when he drops the scares. That's the real genius of The Shining, you see. Kubrick knew that the real horror in a horror movie comes not from the "boo" moment, but from the buildup to it.

Now, I will agree that the parodies of the film over the years probably have zapped some of the impact out of it. I'm glad I saw it before it became a subject of mass parody.


The Simpsons really do have a lot to answer for :P . I can't watch a movie with someone my age without them going "Haha! That was on The Simpsons!", often ruining any sense of surprise and completely breaking the atmosphere. The Shining is one of the best examples. Nobody I've seen it with finds the "All work and no play..." scene unsettling, because all they picture is the Simpsons' parody. Of course, I'm not criticizing The Simpsons at all, its just strange how it affects audiences who are more familiar with the parody than the actual subject.

I never saw much of The Simpsons as a child, and only watched it as an adult, which probably puts me in the minority of my generation. My parents didn't like the show, and they always had control of the prime time TV viewing.
I think 2 hours would've been more then enough time to develop the Overlook, but I disgress.

Another film that suffers from the problem of having been endlessly parodied is The Exorcist(also way too long for it's own good), it's pretty much impossible not to laugh at the "your mother sucks cocks in hell" line, i'm sure it was shocking for kids to talk like that way back when the film was released, but nowadays it's fairly commonplace, and it's very hard not to think of Scary Movie when watching the 360 head tilt and other scenes.


Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:50 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
Kagemusha is one. It brought home to me that the films that I saw on tv and regular movie theaters were the tip of the iceberg of world cinema.

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Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:40 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
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film that suffers from the problem of having been endlessly parodied is The Exorcist(also way too long for it's own good)


Agreed, one of the most poorly paced films I've ever seen. Every single Lee J. Cobb scene is 100% unnecessary.


Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:59 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
MGamesCook wrote:
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film that suffers from the problem of having been endlessly parodied is The Exorcist(also way too long for it's own good)


Agreed, one of the most poorly paced films I've ever seen. Every single Lee J. Cobb scene is 100% unnecessary.


I have no goddamn clue why he's in the movie.

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Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:15 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
film that suffers from the problem of having been endlessly parodied is The Exorcist(also way too long for it's own good)


Agreed, one of the most poorly paced films I've ever seen. Every single Lee J. Cobb scene is 100% unnecessary.


I have no goddamn clue why he's in the movie.


Cobb plays a detective who's investigating the death of Chris MacNeil's friend (it's implied that the possessed Regan did it). It was part of the novel, and the scenes work well in the novel. But I would agree, it doesn't work as well on film and probably should have been left out.

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Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:40 pm
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
I watched Pulp Fiction in (1997), aged 15, and one thing it taught me was that films didn't need to have a platform game-type progression about them. But rather scenes could be constructed in a different, free-standing kind of way. One of the most impressive things about this film is that the non-sequential structure doesn't feel like any kind of gimmick, but actually serves to genuinly enhance the film experience.

It's a shame, and a cruel irony, that it spawned so many inferior copycats.

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Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:27 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
I began going to the cinema regularly in the 1950s. It was cheap and you got two films for the price of one. Better still, the program changed three times a week — Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday and the weekend (except some cinemas had "horror specials" on Sunday). So in the days before television took off, I grew up seeing hundreds of films, some good, most bad. Today, each film has been turned into an expensive special event. We're encouraged to expect the best. That's why we should part with our money for the one experience in each week or month depending on our current budgetary status. Frankly, I think commercial interests have wrecked modern cinema. In answer to this thread, the idea that one of these modern films should have revelatory power is a bit of a nonsense because you have probably seen too few films to make an informed judgement. You need thousands of hours in front of the television or online or in a cinema before you can judge whether any one film is original or making good use of technology, e.g. Avatar was a great use of technology but one of the worst films of the year when judged on content.


Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:15 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
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the idea that one of these modern films should have revelatory power is a bit of a nonsense because you have probably seen too few films to make an informed judgement


This is how I feel toward some people I know who are critical of Skyfall but haven't seen more than a couple Bond movies (and mostly, not the old ones). I agree in relation to the exact words you use: "revelatory power." What exactly can a single viewing of just one movie "reveal" to you? In my opinion, not much. We all have great movie experiences, but true revelation only comes after years of study; not just watching movies, but reading piles of film theory and criticism, listening to the opinions of regular people, watching how audiences react/respond, and making films of your own, even if they're only modest shorts. The French New Wave guys spent two decades mulling over films and theories before they finally took their own crack at it. Godard and Truffaut literally invented new ways for a movie to be good, different from any other good movie that had come before. That's what we need right now. All the popular movies now are things that have been done before. The question is, in what direction does film have to go to produce truly new material?


Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:33 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
MGamesCook wrote:
[quoteThis is how I feel toward some people I know who are critical of Skyfall but haven't seen more than a couple Bond movies (and mostly, not the old ones).


I queued in the rain to see Dr No when it first came out. It was the sensation of the day but, even in its success, it contained the seeds of its own destruction. At 109 minutes in length, it was significantly longer than most other films of the day — even features were usually less than 100 minutes and, to the educated eye, the padding in the first Bond was obvious and the set-pieces overblown. When The Ipcress File and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold came out three years later, we got to see how an espionage film could make an intelligent use of that time. Moving into the middle 1960s, the vast majority of cinemas continued with double features with intermissions, or news reels and cartoons in the middle, i.e. it was not the norm to make long films. Skyfall clocked in at 143 minutes offering us yet more bangs for our bucks yet Argo is the far superior film at 120 minutes (and even that would be improved by cutting out the silly chase down the runway at the end). We are in perfect agreement that individual creative works only take on real value when seen in a proper context.


Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:11 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
MGamesCook wrote:
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The question is, in what direction does film have to go to produce truly new material?


As you say, everything has been done before so, as with the novel, it all comes down to the quality of the craftsmanship that goes into recycling the plot elements and bringing the whole to the screen. The sad reality today is easy to state. Television has become a meat grinder for content. Everything gets mashed up and spat out in 50 minute predigested capsules for easy consumption. The cinema has gone in the opposite direction with significantly fewer films being released for distribution around the chains. This places too much pressure on the studios. If they were only spending, say, $20 million per film, they could afford to take chances on the content. But with the year's profit riding on five or six major film releases in each year, each with astronomical budgets in excess of $100 million, all scripts and first shoots get passed through focus groups and everything that might have produced strong appeal for one section of the market is removed because receipts are only maximized when a mass audience walks through the doors. Except this removes all the quirky individuality that might have made the films interesting. So the answer to your question is to dismantle the current studio and distribution systems. We need to get back to a faster film-making process on smaller budgets as the norm. That way we can have real choices on what to see and the truly good films will rise up through word of mouth and become major profit centres for the rest of the year. Betting the farm on the next big blockbuster every time stifles creativity.


Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:33 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
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the padding in the first Bond was obvious and the set-pieces overblown


What about El Cid, Lawrence of Arabia? Lawrence always seems very padded to me, it's ridiculously long for a story that isn't even that expansive.


Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:03 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
MGamesCook wrote:
Quote:
the padding in the first Bond was obvious and the set-pieces overblown


What about El Cid, Lawrence of Arabia? Lawrence always seems very padded to me, it's ridiculously long for a story that isn't even that expansive.


The problem with Lawrence of Arabia, the first film I saw that was treated like a theatrical experience with everyone retreating into the lobby area for a restorative coffee and biscuits — some popped into the pub next door for something stronger — is the need to cram two years of "history" into 216 minutes. Obviously, the history had to be edited down and to some extent rewritten to produce an epic cinematic experience. The result is a wonderfully inspiring first half and a distinctly downbeat second half with the massacre and his hurried removal from Damascus before his attempts to create a unified Arab nation could mature. If you were going to write a piece of fiction, you would change things around to maintain a better pace and produce two climaxes (assuming you wanted a halfway break) or to a single climax. That said it was an unforgettable experience. I'm not sure I would think it so good today but I'm not prepared to put myself to the test. I prefer to keep a happy memory. El Cid, on the other hand is a mere 184 minutes that feels like five hours. What is bearable in Lawrence because of the beautiful cinematography, the music and the quality of the acting, becomes leaden in El Cid. Elements of the picture are great spectacle and, with flashes of brilliance from the music, there are some genuinely memorable moments. But the script is a heavily romanticised version of the history of the day and the acting woeful. I don't rate it at all.

Indeed, once the studios got the bit between their teeth and decided there was money in longer films, there was no stopping them from doing length for its own sake. No matter what the subject matter, we were bored by Cleopatra, The Dirty Dozen, La Dolce Vita, The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, Ice Station Zebra, The Longest Day, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Sound of Music, Where Eagles Dare, The Wild Bunch, the worst offender being It's a Mad Mad etc World. This is not to say there were no good bits or redeeming features to such films. But they were padded out, usually with ghastly melodrama or cod romanticism. Just think how much better all the Spaghetti Westerns would have been if twenty plus minutes had been left on the editing floor or the musicals like Oliver and West Side Story had had one less set-piece song. The only film that just about gets away with length is Judgment at Nuremberg. Of course, when we moved into the 1970s, it got worse,


Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:50 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
That's all interesting. I do think the way things are going now, there will eventually be some sort of collapse. I had a talk at school a while back reminding us that film is not currently a "growth industry." The studios will never be better at making and marketing these blockbusters than they are now. They've reached, or very nearly reached the apex, and what goes up must come down. The superhero genre is already on the road to cancelling itself out completely. What more is there?


Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:04 am
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Post Re: The turning point in your growth as a film viewer
MGamesCook wrote:
That's all interesting. I do think the way things are going now, there will eventually be some sort of collapse. I had a talk at school a while back reminding us that film is not currently a "growth industry." The studios will never be better at making and marketing these blockbusters than they are now. They've reached, or very nearly reached the apex, and what goes up must come down. The superhero genre is already on the road to cancelling itself out completely. What more is there?


This sort of thing has happened before, in a way. If you haven't read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind, it's worth checking out. The answer to your question may be in there.

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Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:37 am
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